The Clutch Works!

Well, the mechanism now moves, whether it does as it should remains to be tested.

The master cylinder had seized again due to not being kept in working order, so it was back on the bench vice and with a few careful smacks (several actually) then lots of back and forth exercises, the push rod was fully functioning in its bore. Then I thought I could prime the clutch system with fluid and then thought again best not after fluid squirted down the work bench after loosening the pipe… At least it gave me some practice for bleeding the system and what I was meant to do. I soon had the master cylinder mounted to the firewall with the push rod attached to the clutch pedal. I had the slave cylinder with it’s own push rod in position against the clutch acutator (lever) and the new pipe ends connected.

Clutch Master Cylinder, with new pipe leading to a new Slave Cylinder.
Clutch Master Cylinder, with new pipe leading to a new Slave Cylinder.

The next ‘pain in the arse’ job was fitting the circlip to the slave cylinder to keep it in place on the gearbox bell-housing. I had to jack the car up for this one and took several attempts to fit, but the bastard clip eventually went on using my cheap an nastys circlip pliers and some persuasion with a large screw driver. With the wife employed as clutch pedal pumper I managed to bleed the clutch system without any dramas, my earlier practice was a big help. With the clutch pedal depressed, I was so relieved to see the lever on the bell housing move. First time that had happened since I started this project (April 2010).

I guess it was a rather premature next move, but I had to rig up the battery that had been on trickle charge, since last starting up the Corsair (Nov 2011), and have a go at getting the engine to start and try the gears. Battery was good, start motor turned but the Corsair wouldn’t start. It seemed I was not getting a spark from the coil, any useful advice is welcome via the comments.

Clutch Fluid Pipe

Had a custom clutch fluid pipe made up for me by A1 Hydraulics (Leicester). I think it looks great in that of a technical manner and serves a function too. The pictures here only show it in a mocked up stage to check that it fitted and was clear of other parts. Will do some proper pictures next time when the components are installed properly.

Hydraulic Clutch pipe made by A1 Hydraulics of Leicester.
Hydraulic Clutch pipe made by A1 Hydraulics of Leicester.
Hydraulic Clutch pipe made by A1 Hydraulics of Leicester.
Hydraulic Clutch pipe made by A1 Hydraulics of Leicester.

Re-motivated – gearbox back in!

Well, it was a long wait for my motivation to return and some good weather (last week was good too but lacked the desire to do anything), but it did and I have the re-faced flywheel and a new clutch plate with existing pressure plate now installed. I also eventually got the gearbox loosely in after a 2.5 hour tussle!

All bolts need to be tightened properly but the prop-shaft, gearbox bell housing front plate and exhaust system still need to be put back together. At least the worst part is done and the other bits can be done more easily soon… (famous last words).


Corsair update

Recently I obtained two good looking chromed Cragar wheels from Sean in Poole, who at the time is rebuilding a custom/hot rod Ford Pop. They match the two font Cragars I have; the rears are of a different make and have a deeper offset, but I think you’ll agree, these look heaps better and have pretty good tyres too.

Also, I got the Flywheel skimmed by Perret Engineering, near Henstridge and also a new friction plate from the clutch specialists in Henstridge, Precision Clutch Components Ltd. Just need to find 3+ hours to fit it all back together! Soon I hope.

The Flywheel

Got the flywheel off today, nothing too difficult by my standards, all within 30 mins. It gives me the opportunity to reveal the groove on the flywheel. At the time of writing I have posted a question on my favourite forum for advice on where to go from this.

Update 5/9/13: The general consensus of opinion is that the groove is fixable by skimming/re-facing, I just need to find an engineering company near enough to do the job for a good price.

Bench Testing

Nipped down to these chaps Precision Clutch Components for them to have a look at my pressure plate and friction plate. They tested the pressure plate on their special press and showed me it was all working fine and lifting as it should. No cracks or signs of too much wear. The friction plate, however, told another story. Apart from being worn down near to the rivets it was evident that there is a groove in the flywheel which will need to be sorted before a new friction plate is put back on. So, the next mission is to source another flywheel or have the current one repaired or re-faced.

Gearbox and clutch assembly out, again

Had some free time to get the ‘box out again to retrieve the clutch assembly (clutch cover) that needs to be replaced or at least checked out/bench tested by a clutch specialist. I started around 10.30am and had the Corsair up in the air by 11.30am and ready for the gearbox removal. The experience wasn’t too bad, I had forgotten a lot of what I went through last time, like how to lash the rear part of the ‘box with rope but it came out fairly easily, once I had taken off the nearside exhaust manifold (see previous post). So all out by 1.30pm and the Corsair was back on its wheels, minus the gearbox.

Corsair in the air from the front
Corsair in the air from the front
Corsair in the air
Corsair in the air

Putting the gearbox back in – attempt two

It took from about 8.30 this morning jacking up the rear and putting onto the car ramps, then jacked up the front end which was placed onto axle stands.
2013-05-06 11.14.53
The gearbox was manoeuvred on some plywood scraps under the car and in to position. Rope was slung under the main body of the gearbox and tied off to a bit of 2×1″ through the trans tunnel inside the car. This was later chocked with bits of wood to raise the gearbox when required. In the meantime the trolley jack had been put under the ‘box to take the strain.
2013-05-06 11.15.11
This was wasn’t working, the gearbox was too unstable on the jack alone and with the middle section now supported by the rope. I had a fair bit of movement but was still struggling… I stopped for lunch at 1pm.

2013-05-06 11.15.37I resumed 1.30-ish, with my son (aged 10) now trying to help and be another pair of eyes. The lower stud guides I’d put in where doing their job but the ‘box was leaning to the right (towards drivers side) and the upper guides where not in line with the top of the ‘box.

After about an hour or so, I re-jigged the box so it was sat on a small section of 3 plywood and other bits to seat it properly with out wobbling about on the jack. On the re-try, my son was saying it was fowling the nearside exhaust manifold (not his words) and perhaps I should remove it… I carried on ‘cos dad knows better as I had got the gearbox out without having to remove the manifold!

My son soon got bored, and went off to play… I was edging the gearbox a bit nearer each time and nearly got it onto the two stud guides I had at the top of the block. I then heeded my 10 year old sons advice and loosened off the near side exhaust manifold. A few wiggles and the gearbox was onto the top two studs, yay! Some more wiggles and it got closer and closer… Then it sort of slopped/popped in to place. This was about 3.30pm.

It will have to come out again at some point, as the clutch pressure plate appears seized. At least I only wasted my time, and have gained some more experience. The new pressure plate will have to wait, another costing to be added to the list.

Thanks for reading

Unseizing the clutch – Part 3

Nice weather, so I took the day off to tackle the next stage of the clutch problem by removing the gearbox. By midday the gearbox was removed and clear of the car. Not too difficult, two trolly jacks and a some wood to drag the box out on and I remained fairly clean.

The clutch pressure plate and friction disk where removed and inspected. All looked ok but I had no means of testing whether is was scrap or a functional unit in need of lubrication. Anyway, I cleaned up the surfaces the friction plate came into contact with, sqiurted some WD40/Spray grease on what looked like they should be moving parts and put it all back in. The clutch assembly was all centralised properly using a tool I had inherited a while ago but not used until now.

The worst bit was to come, re-fit of the gearbox. Balanced on the two trolley jacks it got as far as about 3″ (8cm) away from going back on. Filthy dirty by now, I conceded defeat after 3 hours including some help from my wife in the latter stages. I simply ran out of muscle power or strength to lift the box back into the back of the engine. I may need some extra muscle to help.

Refit, Cross Thread & Busted

Had another go Wednesday evening  for the clutch cylinder re-fit and all appeared to be going well. With a copper mallet the slave unit was eased into the mounting hole on the bell housing. Then came the awkward bit of refitting the hydraulic pipe and its union to the slave. Being very conscious of the steel union and aluminum slave, it felt I had made sure the pipe and union went in squarely, finger tight. Then on with the spanner but as it got tighter the pipe still swiveled in its position, not good as I believed I had cross threaded the joint.

Getting the slave off was difficult as before. Using a lever iron to knock out the slave cylinder, it unfortunately slipped into the bore without me realising and after removal of the slave cylinder and inspection of the bore it revealed a nasty gouge that was unrepairable. And yes, I had also begun to strip the thread in the slave cylinder.

I remained restrained and put that one down to experience therefore will have to wait until funds are available to purchase a new slave unit and new clutch pipes and fixings.